40: 4.80 (Campus)
PROS: A high motor player that can make the stop at the point of attack. Gives effort and will chase to try and make plays in pursuit. Can get leverage vs. the run. Shows a decent swim move as a pass rusher. Can press the pocket at times.
CONS: Undersized inside and gets pushed around a bit too much. Needs to get off blocks better. Doesn't have much pass rush moves, relying on motor and an under-developed swim. Needs to show better recognition when he's playing end. Doesn't have a good first step and can be late reacting to the snap, making matters worse. Lacks the range to really make plays in pursuit or in the backfield, and lacks the closing burst to finish play on the times when he does get some penetration.
OVERVIEW: He's an effort player that isn't a big factor as a pass rusher. He plays across their defensive line, playing end in both 3 and 4 man fronts, as well as defensive tackle. Led Bearcats with 12.5 tackles for loss, adding 3.5 sack as well as a senior, his lone year as a starter.
NFL FORECAST: Due to his size, Mathews appears to fit best as a tackle in a 4-3 scheme. But he doesn't have the quickness to really excel in a one-gap scheme. Instead, as is, he is probably best working as an end in a 3-4 scheme. But either way, he's going to have to earn his living based off his motor and defending the run. If he got above 300, he could be more successful as a space eater. Teams will like his motor, but there really isn't any position that I think he can excel at it. But I'm sure that 4-3 and 3-4 teams can find a use for him as a role player. Either way, I don't see him sticking for very long at the next level, but could bounce around for a few summers. At best he appears to be a guy that can fill the last spot in a rotation.
ATL FORECAST: He is a body to compete in camp, and could push guys like Trey Lewis and Vance Walker, although he's not a threat to really beat any of them. The coaches will like his motor, but his lack of burst is less than either of those two players, so unless the Falcons were looking for a big widebody, then he's not going to fit in Atlanta. And even so, he's probably 20-30 pounds from being that sort of player, not something he's likely to be by August.
VALUE: Worth a look in camp, but a wasted pick.
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.